Thursday, March 27, 2008

Party with Tim Sievert on Saturday

Former Attic & current Puny employee Tim Sievert will be celebrating the release of his first graphic novel, That Salty Air, at Big Brain on Saturday. Zander and I watched Tim pull late nights at the Attic, penciling and inking each gorgeous page. Congrats, Tim!

But wait, there's more! Lars Martinson will be celebrating the release of his book, too! Read more about it here and make sure to check out Lars' posts about how he produced his book, Tonoharu: Part One.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Assassin's Creek" Illustration in Game Informer

Every year, Game Informer, the world's best video game magazine, has an April Fool's section in their magazine that contains all the rude jokes about video games that, presumably, they have been waiting all year to tell. This section, "Game Infarcer", has a cover with some video game-related gag, and we've been lucky enough to draw it for the last three years!

This year's entry is "Assassin's Creek", a parody/homage to the video game Assassin's Creed and the TV show Dawson's Creek. Click on the image below to see it big, and without the logo.

Because of the way things print in magazines, it looks like they had to take out the layer that darkened ol' Dawson and Joey (and poor Pacey) so that you could tell who they were. That's cool.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big Time Attic: The Comic by Guest Artist MJ

Thanks, MJ!

If you'd like to submit a BTA comic, read more here.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Sushi Update

What's Up With Lutefisk Sushi:

First, check out Steve's post from last week.

The deadline for mini-comics has been extended until March 31. You still have until April 12th to turn in art or any books that you want to sell.

I apologize to anyone who tried to turn in comics on the day of the deadline March 15th. You probably noticed that no one was in the office. We chose March 15th because it was the middle of the month, and failed to see that it didn't fall on a weekday. Our bad!

If you can't turn your books in by 5pm on a weekday, I'm staying late on Friday, March 21st (late = 7:30pm).


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Far Arden Cover

Aside from a few tweaks here is the cover for Far Arden:


Friday, March 14, 2008

Big Time Attic: The Comic by Guest Artist Ryan Dow

Thanks, Ryan!

If you'd like to submit a BTA comic, read more here.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tips and Tricks: Coloring Comics to Look Old

First, some props where props are due to Les McLaine at Jonny Crossbones for his tutorial, How To Color Like A Little Old Lady, which we've adapted and added stuff to. Please visit his site, read his wonderful comic, and buy his stuff.

Coloring Comics To Look Old


1. Get Scan where you want it in Bitmap mode. No gray, just black and white.

2. Convert image to CMYK. Image>Mode>Grayscale, then Image>Mode>CMYK.

3. Select All, then Cut (Ctrl-X).

4. Paste (Ctrl-V) image into the Black channel.

5. Select the C, M, and Y channels.

6. Flat the image, using the swatch colors in dcswatch.tif. Use the regular lasso. Don't worry about being slightly sloppy.

7. Save the image as "[initials of project]_[page number]_flats_[resolution].psd". For instance, page 4 from the BTA Comic, working at a high resolution would be "BTA_04_flats_800.psd". Put this in a flats folder.

These should be the final colors to continue.


8. With only the C, M, and Y channels selected, go to Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone...

9. Make the dots' max radius 6 pixels if working at print size, and 12 if working bigger.

10. Select just the Cyan channel. Nudge it out of alignment, just a little.

11. Do the same with the other two color channels (not black) all in different directions.


12. Get a scan of some blank newsprint that's old, yellowed, and textured. If its from an old comic or newspaper, that's ideal. Otherwise, get the texture right, from some old paper, and you can adjust the colors to make it look yellowed. Anyway, get the newsprint scan to the same resolution as the image, then paste it into a layer above the background layer, setting the mode to "Multiply".

You might want to save here, but don't overwrite the Flats file. Save as "[project initials]_[page number]_halftone_[resolution].psd" e.g. "BTA_04_halftone_800.psd".

This should look like an old comic, but a little too nice.


13. Click on "Create Quick Mask". This will create a new temporary channel in the channels palette.

14. Go to your newsprint image again and select all (Ctrl-A).

15. Drag or Paste the newsprint image into the Quickmask Channel. This will give your image a slight pink sheen.

16. Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels (Ctrl-L) and put all three pointers near the center of the curve. This will make the image very red, and textured.

17. Click out of QuickMask mode and there will be a million dancing ants on your image. Hit Ctrl-H to hide them, if you want, but don't forget they're selected.

Select only the Black Channel.

18. Hit Shift-Backspace. This will bring up a window, where you tell it what color to use to fill these spaces. Choose white. This will make the black ink look way too light.

19. Go to Edit>Fade Fill... right away, before doing anything else. Move the slider down to about 35, or until the ink on the page looks nice and faded and old, with some texture, but still reads as an ink line.


At this point, the Art should look faded, but the colors are still too bright, so we need to do the same thing to them that we did to the black line, so don't deselect all those dancing ants.

20. Go back into QuickMask mode. It'll look red again.

21. Select all (Ctrl-A), then Transform (Ctrl-T). This will give you a square with handles around the image. This will only affect the Quickmask.

22. Right-click in the square. Select Rotate 180 degrees. This will make the red texture pattern rotate.

23. Exit QuickMask Mode. You'll get the Dancing Ants again.

23. Select the C, M, and Y channels.

25. Hit Shift-Backspace again. Use White.

26. Go right to Edit>Fade Fill... and move the slider down to about 75, lighter than the black lineart, or whatever looks best.

27. You're done!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Lutefisk Sushi Late Night Drop-Off

An update on dropping off your Lutefisk Sushi comics:

Since many of you nice folks have day jobs and can't swing by the Attic before 5pm, I'm going to be staying late at the Attic this Thursday. Late means 7:30pm -- and no later, because I can't miss Lost.

Big Time Attic
1618 Central Ave NE, Ste. 216
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(Second floor, above Diamond's Coffee Shoppe)


Sunday, March 09, 2008

"Far Arden" pre-orders...

Here's a map I made this weekend. It'll be nestled in the front pages of the Far Arden paperback. The current plan is to print up 100 copies and have them for sale ($20) at the May 2nd Lutefisk Sushi show.

I think 100 copies should do the trick, but if you want to make sure you get a copy -- or if you're out of town and can't make the Sushi show -- send me an email and we'll figure out a pre-order/mail-order thing. Electronic mail is kevin "at" bigtimeattic "dot" com.

Thanks to Steve and Zander for the idea to make a map!


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Official Armitage Shanks Fan Club!

Welcome all! Kevin Cannon has finished his latest magnum opus, Far Arden, to rave reviews. Here we can all show our appreciation for his incredible project and steel ourselves for his next one.

Want to submit your own homage to the great lonely pirate? Email it to zander at this url,

Jason Rainey

Dan Boyd

Dan Olson

Carl Nelson

David Steinlicht

Bud Burgy

Zander Cannon

Christopher Coffey

Danno Klonowski

Ryan Dow


Mike Sgier

Jon Sloan

Steven Stwalley

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Consider This Your TWO WEEK NOTICE

Lutefisk Sushi -- that mini-comic event that seems eons away -- is right around the corner! In fact, cartoonists have until MARCH 15 to submit their comics.

Fortunately, the Sushi Team has created a handy interactive website to answer your Sushi-related questions. On the site you'll find the TWO FORMS you need to fill out and sign (one from Int'l Cartoonist Conspiracy and one from Altered Esthetics), info about the OPENING RECEPTION on May 2nd, and a chance to PUNCH HELICOPTERS in an unrealistically slow manner.

Please help spread the word on your blogs and newsletters:

Thanks to the handful of folks who've submitted their comics, and we look forward the barrage of sequential art over the next two weeks!


Far Arden: Chapter 13 (part two) and Epilogue

Well, completely coincidentally I drew the last line of Far Arden at the stroke of midnight today.

Please enjoy these links:

Read Chapter Thirteen (part two).
Start from the beginning.

Thanks so much to the devoted core of fans who have been reading the book and commenting on the blog. If there's one thing I've learned throughout this nearly two-year project, it's that while I don't need rockstar readership numbers to keep motivated, it is helpful to know that at least one or two people are genuinely looking forward to the next chapter.

I have to say thank you to Steven Stwalley, who initiated this whole project in Fall 2006. There are always a hundred things that COULD occupy my free time, most of them unproductive, so thanks, Steve, for waking up my competitive side by laying down a big fat challenge. I regret not being able to do twelve consecutive 24-hour comic challenges in a row, so I'm hoping the extra 62 pages makes up for it.

For the record, here's the final stack of originals, next to a glass of scotch (for size reference). In honor of finishing Shanks, I stopped by ol' Lowry Hill Liquor and picked up a bottle of Dalwhinnie. I was actually hoping to pick up a bottle of Sheep Dip -- which has overseen much of the creation of Far Arden -- but they were out. Such is life.